Houghton Valley Playcentre

Houghton Valley Playcentre

Houghton Valley Playcentre is tucked below Houghton Bay Road, up from the school and next to the Community Hall. They have five morning sessions a week, including a Te Reo Māori session on Tuesday and Thursday mornings where parents stay and learn alongside their tamariki.

Email address: hvplaycentre@gmail.com

Houghton Valley Playcentre Website

Houghton Valley Playcentre Facebook Page

History of Houghton Valley Playcentre

Houghton Valley Playcentre has been going since 1953 and was first housed in the Houghton Valley Community Hall. Over the years the condition of the hall deteriorated, and despite some renovations the conditions were still not up to Playcentre standards. In 1996 the Playcentre’s licence was suspended mainly due to flaking lead paint on the outside walls of the hall. They had to shift operation to the Miramar Playcentre while they looked for a site on which to build a new building.

After trouble finding a suitable site, the Houghton Valley Progressive Association, who owned the hall, granted them the use of the playground area just below the hall (the old tennis courts) to build something on. With $200,000 from the Ministry of Education, Central Regional Works, the Wellington Playcentre Association and their own fundraising they built their own building, which is still going strong today.

The Playcentre’s main fundraiser to help pay off the loan and maintain their property has been through their annual “Great Debate” at the Pines: a fun and slightly tongue-in-cheek debate with both comedians and politicians. Annette King helped initiate it and participated in it for 20 years.

The moot for the 2019 Great Debate